The 2016 Ryder Cup is here, and it promises to be three days of madness and mayhem in Minnesota, as the USA and Europe do battle on the links at Hazeltine.
The Ryder Cup has spawned into one of the biggest sporting events in the world ever two years- and this year’s edition looks poised to add another thrilling chapter to this unique part of golf’s history.
On one side, you have the United States, the hosts and firm favorites who have put more effort and groundwork into winning back the famous gold trophy than ever before. After three straight defeats, including the “Meltdown At Medinah” in 2012 and a thumping defeat at Gleneagles in 2014, this is a Ryder Cup home captain Davis Love and his men cannot lose. It has gotten to the point where a special “Task Force” was part together by the PGA of America to put together a blueprint in place to guarantee no more humiliation. Love is also on the road to redemption as he looks to banish the demons and ghosts of Medinah in 2012 when he led America to defeat from the jaws of victory. However, the USA reckons that Love has the perfect team, the best collection of golfers ever assembled.
On the other side, you have Europe, who have dominated this event, winning eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups. However, Captain Darren Clarke’s squad has been branded by some gold pundits as one of the weakest teams assembled, and few give them hope of making it a historic fourth straight Ryder Cup triumph. Clarke has an unprecedented six rookies in his lineup, but he also has the current Open, Masters, Olympic and Fed Ex Cup champions playing.
The build-up has proved what an uncompromising showpiece the Ryder Cup can be, and for all involved, there is nowhere to hide.
Europe has used Love’s comments as motivation, while Clarke’s outfit have inadvertently returned the compliment following the idiotic attack on American golf fans by Danny Willett’s brother Pete who labelled them ‘imbeciles’ who needed to be put in their place. It will make America’s craving for success that little bit stronger and Europe’s defence of their crown that little bit harder.
What makes this distinct Ryder Cup even more special for the USA to win is it will be played out against the backdrop of the sad and untimely death of American legend Arnold Palmer. Palmer changed the game and will dominate the thoughts of many on and off the course, with fitting tributes paid by both sides, but especially Love’s camp. It would be the perfect time for the USA to bring home the cup, and use the memory of “The King” as their guiding light to victory.